Headshot of Camille Day Nies

Camille Day Nies has been a member of the Amarillo Symphony viola section since she was 15, a youthful attainment that served as a springboard to the leadership positions she holds today in music education and community arts.

Nies presently chairs the Music and Theatre Department at Amarillo College (AC), which in 2021 was named a Top Five College and received prestigious Rising Star recognition as a finalist for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

Also a vocalist – she has performed in many roles with Amarillo Opera, and as a soloist with the Amarillo Symphony – Nies is an avid proponent of equitable, high-quality music education opportunities and has served as coordinator of AC’s Suzuki Program since 2000.

Nies holds degrees in Performance and Music Business from West Texas A&M University, where she studied with Harrington String Quartet violists Amy Brandfonbrener, Ted Allred and Joanna Mendoza. Truly a product of the organic synergy between education and the arts in the Texas Panhandle, she chairs a Music Department that maintains close associations with each of the area’s top opera, choral and instrumental organizations. It also is one of only a handful of two-year programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. 

Her leadership extends to the Amarillo Symphony board of directors and the Amarillo Symphony orchestra committee, and she is an active member of the National Association of Schools of Music, Texas Association of Music Schools, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the Texas Music Educators Association and more.

Nies’ extensive performance experience ranges from serving as violist for the Avila, Spain International Chamber Music Festival, the Amarillo Symphony, Amarillo Opera, Chamber Music Amarillo, the Lone Star Ballet, and Amarillo shows of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, to vocal soloist in the highly popular outdoor musical drama TEXAS. She founded and performs with the Crystal String quartet, and has played with the Rockford (IL) Symphony, Philharmonia New Mexico and the Symphony of the Southwest, as well as many other regional and community ensembles.

She leads a genuinely engaged, world-class faculty, and her Music Department annually presents a full schedule of concerts, recitals and free entertainment opportunities to the College and the entire regional community. Nies personally teaches private viola students, group viola classes and ensembles, and additionally conducts classes in Music Literature, Music Appreciation and more.